Randy Couture is, legally speaking, the UFC heavyweight champion. He recently declined an invitation to fight Antonio Noguiera however, stating that he has resigned from the UFC and wished to pursue a fight with consensus number one heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. He has since battled UFC management in an intense, and very public war of words; and now faces a potential legal battle as well.
The latest spat between Couture and the UFC has to do with Couture’s work as a cornerman at events held by organizations such as the IFL and HCF.
Couture has appearently recieved word from UFC officials that making appearences at such organizations is a breach of contract. Couture sat down with The Calgary Sun to discuss the situation in more detail and also weighted in on the upcoming battle between Noguiera and his replacement at UFC 81, Tim Sylvia.
Couture On The UFC’s Assessment That Cornering Fighters For Other Organizations Is A Breach Of Contract:
I’ve continued to corner my fighters in the International Fight League and HDnet fights and so on and now they’ve decided that’s in breach of my non-compete in my employment contract. There’s no merit in that. It’s just a ploy on the UFC’s part to drag me down and force me to spend money and I’m sure they think if they force me to spend enough money, I’ll have to come back and fight. That’s not really the case.
Couture On Fighting For The UFC In The Future:
If they brought Fedor to the table and made the Fedor fight happen I’d fight for the UFC in a heartbeat. I’ve laid a co-promotion on their lap to make the Fedor fight happen in which they could participate where I would represent the UFC and they we’rent intersted in doing that. So that leaves the ball in my court to go outside the UFC and make the Fedor fight happen in some other way. We’ll wait for contract to expire so I don’t breach the contract and then we’ll find a way to make the Fedor fight happen.
Couture On Sylvia vs. Noguiera:
“I think it’s going to be a good fight. I’m a fan of the sport first and foremost. I think it’s an interesting matchup. Nogueira’s strenght tends to be on the ground and in the submission game and Tim is just a long, strong hard to take down guy who’s got great striking abilities. It’s a classic matchup and for the interim title so they both have a lot on the line. I like Tim’s chances in that fight given Nogueira’s performace against Heath Herring in the last fight. I like Sylvia in a stoppage of some kind.”